Pain Management Using Cold and Heat
If used correctly If used properly, a combination of heat and cold therapies can ease pain for up to 5 days. This therapy is especially beneficial for injuries from overuse and tears in muscles. It also reduces inflammation and pain by dilatation of blood vessels. In turn, it promotes a faster blood flow to the injured area. And it can help with joint pain that is chronic. The best thing about both treatments is that they can be combined!
Cold therapy is more effective than heat therapy in decreasing inflammation and blood flow to the affected areas. The cold therapy decreases swelling and increases blood flow. The heating therapy increases blood flow and draws in more nutrients. The use of heat therapy is particularly beneficial in pain relief because of its soothing effects on joints. Which treatment should you choose to relieve your discomfort? Here are some ideas. Check out our helpful chart. Let’s examine how heat and cold therapy work together.
Ice therapy can be very efficient in decreasing swelling and inflammation. It also has an numbing effect, which slows down pain signals to the brain. The most effective cold therapies include ice baths homemade ice packs and cold packs made of chemicals. Similar to heat therapy, you should adhere to the appropriate protocol and limit the duration of exposure to cold. It is not recommended to leave the frozen skin for longer than 20 minutes since this could lead to Hives or ice burns.
Swelling is decreased
Although cold therapy is a great way to reduce swelling, it has some limitations. Patients who suffer from chronic injuries should not be using this method. Cold therapy is not recommended for open injuries and should not be used for those with circulatory or neuropathy conditions. Additionally, those suffering from infections should consult their doctor before applying this treatment. Cold therapy should also be applied to the affected areas only during the early stages of pain.
In general, doctors recommend applying ice at first to reduce swelling, and then applying heat to alleviate discomfort. The heat therapy increases blood flow and warms muscles prior to exercising. Cold therapy, on other hand, slows down blood flow and reduces swelling. Cover the area affected with an apron to provide the best relief. To get the best results cold therapy should be used for at least 15-20 minutes several times a day.
Depending on the nature of injury, heat or cold therapy is the most effective way of reducing pain. In general, heat is the best option for pain that is acute, like an injury to the muscles, and cold therapy is advised for pain that is chronic such as chronic joint pain. There is no right or wrong treatment. A majority of people who suffer from joint pain will benefit from cold therapy.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy is used to lessen pain caused by inflammation and swelling. It slows the deterioration of tissues by reducing nerve activity. It specifically numbs muscles that are in pain and reduces nerve activity. It reduces swelling and inflammation by decreasing nerve activity. However, cold therapy is not appropriate for everyone especially pregnant women. Because cold therapy causes the body to react differently than heat, it is recommended for those who suffer from severe pain from an injury.
Inflammation is reduced
When applied to various health issues cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling. Cold therapy decreases inflammation by constricting blood vessels in muscles, which reduces blood flow. It also decreases pain signal transmission through your brain. Methods for cold therapy include homemade ice packs and chemical cold packs. Similar to heat therapy, cold therapy should be limited to the recommended time frame. Exposed to cold for too long may result in ice burns as well as hives.
Although both cold and heat therapy have benefits but they have distinct side effects. Cold therapy is more effective for acute injuries which result from lower blood flow. The heat therapy increases blood flow and reduces inflammation and swelling through improving circulation. It can also have an emotional calming effect which makes it a great option for chronic pain management. Cold therapy is not as effective for long-term pain management.